Life Versus Entropy: Tripping on Fractals, God, and the Mystery of Existence

Life Versus Entropy: Tripping on Fractals, God, and the Mystery of Existence

Setting: Early morning at a lakeside cabin in the woods of Vermont. Chemical lens: 25I-NBOMe, a research chemical with effects resembling LSD. (25I-NBOMe is a very new chemical, its safety profile is largely unknown, and lethal overdoses have been reported. Consuming 25I-NBOMe or other research chemicals is risky and I do not recommend it.) I walk outside as dawn arrives. Fog rolls across the lake and wraps the trees in a gauzy shroud. The silence is punctuated only by the chatter of birds and my own footsteps. My breathing takes its cue from the lake, gentle and unhurried. Where I exhale,...
Are Entities and Plant Spirits Real? A Guide to Skeptical Tripping

Are Entities and Plant Spirits Real? A Guide to Skeptical Tripping

Trips are like dreams. A genuine insight may bubble up from deep in your subconscious, handily solving a problem that your sober mind found intractable. Or you might emerge with absolute nonsense, the product of synapses firing without the guidance of logic and consistency. You don’t take your dreams as absolute truth upon waking, and psychedelics should be no different. It’s crucial to think critically about which lessons to take back into consensus reality, and which to leave behind.   Wisdom or Dogma? Many psychonauts spread their personal beliefs and speculations as though they were fact. Sometimes they take an ancient...
Sasha Shulgin Compares Drug War to Persecution of Galileo

Sasha Shulgin Compares Drug War to Persecution of Galileo

I was so struck by this passage from Alexander Shulgin’s book Tihkal (Tryptamines I Have Known and Loved) that I had to share it here:   Professor David Nutt has made a similar comparison, describing the UN’s ban on psychedelics as “the worst case of scientific censorship since the Catholic Church banned the works of Galileo.” You can read the second half of Tihkal (the chemical section) on Erowid, or better yet on isomerdesign.com where it is more accurate and more user-friendly. But the first half of the book remains copyrighted, so if you’d like to read the whole thing, buy a...
How to Make Celestial Music with an Oven Rack

How to Make Celestial Music with an Oven Rack

Want to enjoy a trippy concert of chimes and gongs that only you can hear? Great, because that’s what today’s post is about. As you may have noticed if you have ever removed your oven rack for cleaning, striking it causes it to vibrate, and the vibrations create a chiming sound. But the sound is very quiet, which is why strings are necessary for this activity. The strings act as crude amplifiers plugged directly into the ears, transmitting the sound to the listener. This activity is fascinating enough if you’re sober, but it’s ten times more effective when you’re tripping...
Happy Birthday, Psy Frontier! The Best of Year One

Happy Birthday, Psy Frontier! The Best of Year One

To see the top ten posts of the past year, scroll down. My first post — a video of a neon tree that I shot in Austin, Texas while tripping on shrooms — went online one year ago. And what a year it’s been! Say hello on Twitter or Facebook! In its first year, Psychedelic Frontier gathered around 500 Facebook fans, a thousand Twitter followers, and hundreds of thousands of views from people all around the world. But the numbers mean nothing compared to engagement — what really thrills me is when I get to interact with my readers, and...
My Story, "Fireworks," Featured in Psypress UK 2014

My Story, “Fireworks,” Featured in Psypress UK 2014

My previously unpublished tale, Fireworks, is featured in the latest edition of psychedelic magazine Psypress UK. You can get a copy for just £5 plus shipping (in the US, it comes out to $17 total, but it’s well worth it). Other featured writers include Dale Bewan, author of Dropping Acid, Ross Heaven, author of several books on shamanism, and Neil M. Goldsmith, author of Psychedelic Healing. Plus ten other submissions with titles like Myco-metaphysics, The Dogmatist’s Debacle, and Reigniting Awe. And check out the cover art by Jeremy Beswick on the right. Intrigued? So am I — I can’t wait for my copy to arrive in the mail! My submission, Fireworks, is...
Reclaiming the Prohibition Debate, Part 6—Asking Questions

Reclaiming the Prohibition Debate, Part 6—Asking Questions

This is the conclusion of a six-part series about the Prohibition debate. You can check out Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, though they are not necessary for understanding this post. In Part 5 I discussed cognitive liberty as a basic human right, and in this final section I review the questions we should be asking about drug policy. Legality does not constitute endorsement Prohibition supporters often say that repealing prohibition would “send the wrong message” to America’s youth. But the legislative body is not in the business of sending messages. We do not pass laws to communicate how people should be living...
Session Games People Play: A Manual for the Use of LSD

Session Games People Play: A Manual for the Use of LSD

This document was first published as a pamphlet in 1967, shortly after possession of LSD was made illegal in the USA, by Lisa Bieberman. It is a guide for first-time experimenters with LSD, though anyone who uses psychedelics is sure to benefit from reading it. For more on author Lisa Bieberman, visit Erowid. Not much has changed in fifty years — I agree with almost all of her advice, but have amended it with a few of my own comments [in italicized brackets]. Contents Introduction So You’re Going to Take LSD Session Games Get Me Out of This This One Doesn’t...
Reclaiming the Prohibition Debate, Part 5—Cognitive Liberty

Reclaiming the Prohibition Debate, Part 5—Cognitive Liberty

This is the fifth in a six-part series about how the Prohibition debate is tainted by our unquestioned assumptions. You can check out Parts 1, 2, 3, and 4, but they are not necessary for understanding this post. Politicians, the media, and everyday citizens tend to frame the debate as “Should we legalize marijuana?” This language reveals entrenched cultural views not only about drugs, but about the role of government and the freedoms “allowed” to the private citizen. “Legalize” implies that the role of the government is to selectively allow some things. It isn’t – the role of law is...
Free Book: The Psychedelic Experience by Timothy Leary

Free Book: The Psychedelic Experience by Timothy Leary

Timothy Leary, Ralph Metzner, and Richard Alpert (aka Ram Dass) literally wrote the book on tripping. In 1964, they published The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based on The Tibetan Book of the Dead, which captured the imagination of psychonauts everywhere and laid the groundwork for all psychedelic literature to come. As the title indicates, this guide was inspired by the Bardo Thodol, re-interpreting the classic Tibetan text as a guide for ego death. As the first spiritual guide to using psychedelics, The Psychedelic Experience was revolutionary, and continues to influence all aspects of psychedelic culture. It’s hard to imagine the wide variety of trip guides...
Word Clouds Show What It's Like to Be on Drugs

Word Clouds Show What It’s Like to Be on Drugs

What does the language of drug experience look like? What words do we turn to again and again to describe an LSD trip or a cannabis high? Rehabs.com has created some slick graphics to answer these questions (although they are not the first). They performed “extensive linguistic analysis on thousands of written user experiences” drawn from the Erowid database. The graphics cover eight popular drugs, including LSD, DMT, MDMA, and mushrooms. The words shown are the ones most unique to each particular drug, and the size of each word indicates its frequency in user reports. One major problem with an analysis like...
DMT-Nexus Publishes First Issue of New e-Zine: 'The Nexian'

DMT-Nexus Publishes First Issue of New e-Zine: ‘The Nexian’

Check out The Nexian, the first ever e-zine produced by members of DMT-Nexus. It’s a free PDF download with 56 pages of trip reports, horticultural advice, interviews, and DMT-inspired artworks by members of the Nexus community. One feature that stands out to me is Jungle Stewing: An Interview with Antrocles. Antrocles is Antony Galvan, a DMT enthusiast who runs a healing retreat inspired by his work with the Secoya tribe of the Ecuadorian Amazon. He talks about the relationship between language and the psychedelic experience:   If there’s one thing I’ve really gleaned from these tribes is that if you’re going...